Pregnancy and Neonatal Outcomes in Women With Eating Disorders : Obstetrics & Gynecology

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Pregnancy and Neonatal Outcomes in Women With Eating Disorders

Kouba, Saloua CNM*; Hällström, Tore MD, PhD; Lindholm, Caroline MD, PhD*; Hirschberg, Angelica Lindén MD, PhD*

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Obstetrics & Gynecology 105(2):p 255-260, February 2005. | DOI: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000148265.90984.c3


This study was initiated to examine pregnancy and neonatal outcomes in women with past or current eating disorders as compared with a control group.


Forty-nine nulliparous nonsmoking women previously diagnosed with eating disorders (24 anorexia nervosa, 20 bulimia nervosa, 5 eating disorders not otherwise specified) and 68 controls were recruited in early pregnancy. Data on antenatal complications, mode of delivery, and neonatal outcome variables were collected. For comparisons between groups 1-way analysis of variance or χ2 test was used.


Twenty-two percent of the patients had a verified relapse in eating disorders during pregnancy. Women with past or current eating disorders were at increased risk of hyperemesis (P < .01) and delivered infants with significantly lower birth weight (P < .01) and smaller head circumference (P < .001) as compared with controls. They were also at greater risk of delivering infants with microcephaly (P < .05) and small for gestational age infants (P < .05).


Pregnant women with past or active eating disorders seem to be at greater risk for delivering infants with lower birth weight, smaller head circumference, microcephaly, and small for gestational age.



© 2005 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

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